Anyone looking to buy a home has probably noticed slim pickings this year.
According to data compiled by the Associated Press, there are fewer than 3,000 homes for sale in Raleigh. That's down 16 percent from last year, and less than half the available homes from 2012.
Other cities around the Triangle and state show similar dips. In the Triad, housing inventory is down nearly 10 percent from last year, and in Charlotte the year-over-year inventory is down 16 percent.
The Associated Press analyzed the top 100 metros in the United States using data compiled from Trulia and Realtor.com. Durham isn't included as a top metro, though WUNC separately analyzed Durham County by its ZIP codes.
April through June typically mark the busiest months on the real estate calendar and fewer available houses means higher competition – and prices – for available units.
"Homes are selling much quicker, and many, many times being sold with multiple offers, which means that the price gets bid up," said Norman Block, a Cary real estate agent and adjunct professor at UNC - Chapel Hill.
Broadly speaking, the housing market breaks into three groupings: starter, trade-up and premium homes. While the value of all three tiers has increased in most areas of the state, it's the high-end housing that has seen the biggest boom. The median asking price for a premium home in Raleigh is up $90,000 since 2012. That's a 26 percent increase and means sellers are starting their homes off at $440,000. Even for mid-level homes the asking price is up $60,000. That's a 34 percent increase from 2012 to a beginning asking price of $242,000.
The national supply of homes for sale hasn't been this thin in nearly 20 years, according to the AP analysis.
"Sellers will have the edge again this year," said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist for Trulia, the real estate data provider. "Homebuyers are really going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as housing choice is concerned."
Outside the top markets, the recovery hasn’t been as robust as in the Triangle or Charlotte, but housing has gained.
Across North Carolina, there are 207 ZIP codes with at least 100 active listings. Of those areas, 15 have seen their listing inventory drop by a full third in just one year. Two of those, Holly Ridge and Sneads Ferry, both along the North Carolina’s southern coast, have seen listings drop by half.
In Durham, all ZIP codes except one have seen active listings decrease. Only in the southeast corner, ZIP code 27703, has listings increased. That seems to be due to new construction and a hot market, however. Days on the market have decreased and the median listing price has increased 32 percent in just one year, to $261,000.